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What is Modern Software? February 10, 2010

Posted by Darwin in Uncategorized.
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You’ve probably heard the term ‘modern’ used to describe a number of software product launches.  Other adjectives that are often inserted in place of ‘modern’ are ‘cutting-edge,’ ‘disruptive’ and ‘high-tech’ to name a few.

A hypothetical example :  “Sport Counter Inc. breaks new ground by releasing a cutting-edge software suite, a disruptive technology that will change the way people count the calories they intake and burn.” Sounds pretty great, huh?

So is all that hype simply the product of marketing departments making the use of their college vocabularies?  Well, the short answer is “yes.” This poses a bit of a problem for the general populous at large:  If every software or technology  is trumpeted as ‘modern’ than how are we supposed to know what’s  good and what isn’t?  Sure, every aware consumer needs to do their homework and find out what the meat behind the marketing is, but it also helps to lay out some ground rules.

So here are a few ground rules on what a business or consumer user should be looking for in their  ‘modern software’ “:

1.  Modern Software is online

At this point, all software should be working online in some shape or form.   If a software is called ‘modern’ but requires a hard-disk installation, it is definitely a misuse of the word.    New technology can work ‘in the cloud’ and pull data from a number of resources which makes accessibility easy whether on-the-go, at home or in the office.

2.  Modern Software promotes collaboration

Enough with software that runs in a cave and forces us to work in a cave.  Today is an age of social networking:  tweeting, greeting, buzzing, waving, and pretty much any other action you can think of that lets people share data with one another.  Whether your modern software is a business or consumer tool, it should make the most of the new collective mindset:  collaboration is king.

3.  Modern Software makes us work LESS

Sure, you can find some new software with a billion bells and whistles – features for everything you could ever imagine to ‘make your experience better.’  The one question that should be important to you is : does it make things easier? (especially for business software users)  Modern Software makes you do less, for more.  Modern Software solves a problem by making a goal or task easier or more efficient.

4.  Modern Software gives you feedback

Not only do we not want to be working in a cave, we also don’t want to be working in a vacuum with no feedback whatsoever. The old way of doing things is pushing forward towards a goal without analyzing the data along the way. The new way of doing things should be to use precise collected data to adapt and solve a problem. Your modern software should have an analytics feature that allows you to examine everything you’ve been doing and make it better the next time around.

5.  Modern Software is Easy

Unless you are flying satellites (which should be easy as well), Modern Software should be quite intuitive.    Especially for corporate software users, it makes sense if someone can be trained to use a software suite in a minimal amount of time.  The longer it takes for someone to figure out a piece of software, the harder it will be to repeat the training process.

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